Sligo’s Businesses Stay Strong

So, we’re now how many weeks into lockdown 3.O? We’ve lost count. We all miss so many things on a personal level but also miss Sligo businesses and services that we used to take for granted and rely on year round. Some of these business have had to close for the majority of lockdown, due to the nature of their company and how restrictions have affected them. Sligo Hub got in touch with a few of them, to see how they’re doing and to tell them that we can’t wait to visit them when they open up again, very SOON!

Jessie Smith and her Driftwood Coffee Cart

Jessie Smith of Driftwood Coffee Cart (DCC) told us ” the cart itself has not been in operation since the pandemic began in March as Finisklin in Sligo is the main source of the Carts business throughout the year. Since the pandemic hit these businesses most employees were either completely working from home or doing split shifts and continue to do so. Also due to the fact no large events or Sligo festivals took place in the summer of 2020 the Cart has been parked up for almost a year. In the early days the Cart had some much needed care and attention so it’s now running like a dream and very ready to get back to work.

The other arm of the business is located within the Strandhill Peoples Market. We opened briefly in early March before the restrictions were put in place and briefly again in September. I think in total we were open for 5 trading weeks last year! However, knowing the amazing team behind the Market, once it does reopen I think it is going to be better then ever. As a self-employed business person this past year has been difficult. However I really believe that once this is all over and we can get back on our feet, the next few years look bright and exciting for DCC. Having experienced the amazing support from so many customers over the years I know that when I can finally reopen I will see all the familiar faces back for their coffees, & I can’t wait.”

The Glamping Red Bus from Ox Mountain Adventure Camp

We also spoke with Dermot from Ox Mountain Adventure Camp who gave us an update on what has been happening mountain-side in the lockdown. Dermot said “We’ve been open for Essential workers and travel all way through lock down, in line with covid restrictions. Even though it has been challenging we were happy to be able to help people where we could. For the last few months we have been catching up on maintenance on our accommodations, We enjoyed family time and also got a few pets, a miniature goat and pig so that kept us busy. We are working on new accommodation at the moment so we will have that ready for April. Additionally, we have designed new Brochures and improved our website. We are looking forward to opening again, at the moment we have a lot of bookings coming in for the summer! This year will be very busy due to staycations and we are getting a lot of repeat business and referrals. Many of our visitors last year were very happy with sligo and what it had to offer, some of the best feedback I got was about the Wild Atlantic Way, our beaches and lakes, Eagles Flying, restaurants and of course the Ox Mountains, so I suppose if we all keep up the good work it’ll be up and onwards for Sligo”

Dancers From Beat it Dance School

Even looking at the photo from Beat It Dance School puts a smile on our face! Sarah Middleton the owner, has had to close the studio since the beginning of the pandemic. Her class sizes were reduced greatly and due to the nature of dance being contact based (mostly) Sarah decided to postpone classes until it was safe to operate. In the meantime Beat It offered some one-off classes online, which served to really lift the mood of those who enrolled. Sarah also used to co-host one fab night a year in the Hawkswell Theatre, a night featuring lots of Sligo performing arts Academies and is making plans for the next big show when Sligo re-opens.

Orla McSharry of McSharry School of Speech and Drama

Orla McSharry adds “It is nearly a year since I have had to close my business McSharry School of Speech and Drama . Yikes ! Restrictions have meant we could not enter a space and teach face to face for virtually the whole year . I adapted to a the Zoom platform pretty early on. Producing full zoom productions . The Wizard of Oz , Alice in wonderland and Snow White to name but a few . Little pieces of magic rehearsed by my fabulous students from  the kitchen/bedroom/bathroom right back to the living room stage 

Due to schools closing and the pressure of virtual homeschooling in every home, I felt it appropriate to hold off on zoom . I wanted to be fair to all my students and give everyone the same opportunities to engage . Feedback from parents guided me with my decision.  My main objective was not to add pressure to any household . The impact of Covid has meant I am missing my soul and my livelihood as a Teacher and a Performer. But you can bet your bottom dollar that McSharry School of Speech and Drama will be back with bells on once restrictions allow.”

Sligo will be back…

There are so many other companies that we didn’t manage to speak with but those we did, the resounding message was that, “yes, it is hard right now, but we’re looking forward and will be back open bigger and better!” And Sligo Hub can not wait for those days either! Sligo Hub.